Cleaning the water heater tank will prolong the life of the heater, if it's done periodically, from the time the heater was new.
However, a heater can't be flushed for the first time after 16 years. The drain is probably plugged, due to sediments, minerals, rust and other junk.
BTW, have you replaced your heater already?
We ordered the 12 year Kenmore Power Miser, it's set to be delivered this Friday. It'll be installed this upcoming Tuesday. We're pretty excited to have the new water heater up and running next week!
Thanks for the tips/feedback everyone. Our new hot water heater has been installed and is running beautifully. The foul smell is gone, which is great.
Our plumber replaced a couple pipes that were galvanized, and showed me just how blocked they were...it was pretty amazing. With the new pipes our hot water pressure is significantly stronger, which is a huge plus.
Thanks again everyone!
Good deal MBeach......
Stop back in the forum if you need any other advice . Im sure someone can help ya.
Thanks for reporting back!
Enjoy bathing your precious little one in hot and clean water once again!
Now that you have a new heater, you can follow the recommended water heater flushing schedule, even if you have a self cleaning unit. An annual flushing will make your new heater run longer.
Has it really only been ten days since I last posted? It seems like much longer than that!
I've had a few developments since then, and I wanted to run them by you to get your thoughts before I talk to the plumber I'm working with who installed the hot water heater. For the sake of this post I'll refer using the name "Carl". I have to add that I've been working with Carl for over a year now, and he's always been helpful, friendly, and done great jobs.
Perhaps a week after our new water heater had been installed, I thought I hear a knocking sound coming from it. Our heater is installed outside our house, almost directly outside of our guest bathroom. It is enclosed in a small metal "shed", that give the heater perhaps 4-6" of space on all sides. The "roof" of the shed is higher, and has a tube/vent that travels up the side of our home and ends slightly above our roof line.
Following the knocking sound, I went out to examine the heater. This was the first time I'd looked at it since it was installed. First, I noticed that the front door of the shed, that typically slides out of it's enclosure to offer up access, had been affixed to the frame with two screws. I grabbed a screwdriver and unscrewed the door. I had no idea why these had been added, as the sliding door has always been a challenge to remove.
Regardless, I popped off the door and noticed three things immediately that seemed odd.
1. The tube that comes out of the top of the heater is not connected to the tube/vent that travels up the side of our home. There is a large gap (inches) between them. Is this correct?
2. There are water stains in two places already - one is on top of the heater where the hot water pipe is attached, the second is a thin rust colored trickle that is coming from some sort of spigot looking item high up on the side of the heater. Should there be any moisture or moisture residue present?
3. There are two good sized dents in the heater. When the heater was delivered in it's box, the box was in immaculate condition. I've no clue if the dents would compromise the interior of the heater, but one of the dents is large enough that it's pulled the outer metal of the heater away from the base ring at the bottom of the heater.
I called Carl to let him know I'd opened the heater and saw some moisture, and he's going to come back to look at it. What are your thoughts on the tube connection and the dents?
First if the heater is installed in a small shed I hope it has some type of louvers to allow combustion air into the shed. The dents on the outer jacket, if small should have no effect on the heater. If you had seen it before it was installed Sears would have given you the option to keep the heater at a discounted price or return it for another. At one time we did installs for Sears that's how I know how they operate. As far as the stains and or leaks a picture would be helpful.
Here are some pictures with the descriptions included.
In regards to Sears, I unfortunately didn't inspect the heater when it was delivered. My wife took the delivery unexpectedly (they showed at a random day/time) and simply had them put the box next to our old one outside the house. All I did was check to make sure the box was there when I got home - it was - and appeared to be in clean condition - no dents.
This is the shed that houses the hot water heater. It has vents on the front door and a gap in the back (between the shed and the wall) which you can see in the following picture.
Looking into the shed with the door removed. Notice the white crusty residue next to the blue ring on the top of the heater. It appears there is a very slow leak at the blue ring.
A close-up shot of the "connector" that doesn't connect. Here you can see the gap between the wall of my home and the shed.
This is the spigot that has the rust colored dribble coming from it. You can see there is some discoloration at the top of the ring (the flash on my camera blew that out a bit).
Here is the largest dent on the heater that has it pulled away from the base. You can see the rust colored trail from the leak in the above picture goes all the way down the heater.
This is a new tank? :confused:
If it is supposed to be new, look on the factory printed tag for a date or some production code you can look up in line. It doesn't look too new to me.
That has to be one of the worst installations I have ever seen of a gas water heater. (And I have seen it all in 50 years) You don't use a washer hose to hook up the water lines on a heater especially on the hot side. The flue pipe needs to be connected and screwed together. You have a very serious fire hazard there. Not to mention the carbon monoxide hazard. I can't see the gas line but I can just imagine what that looks like. First thing to do is turn it off before someone gets hurt. Then call a real plumbing contractor to re-do the install. Before doing so save the pictures you have taken and show them to the building dept. so they can take action against the installer.